Daughter of the Pirate King

Author  Tricia Levenseller
Date Released  28 February 2017
Rating ★★★★☆

Okay, so I took a little bit of a longer break than I expected. Between volunteering at a zoo and school, and rehearsal for upcoming orchestra concerts and skating performances, and prepping for AP exams and finals in May, it’s been a mess. I have been reading, just haven’t had the time to write posts and I don’t have a queue lined up yet. Sorry 🙁

This is actually a fairly new book, and it’s my first time reading it (mixing it up here).

Quick intro: Alosa is the daughter of the Pirate King, and she’s sent on a mission by her father to retrieve a hidden treasure map. This involves being kidnapped, on purpose, by a boat full of male pirates who are varying degrees of pleasant and rude. The first mate, Riden, is surprisingly nice (especially to look at) and smart. Alosa is determined to complete her mission for her father. She’s good with a sword and a great fighter, the only pirate her father’s even trained personally. She also has some special hidden skills that we find out about later in the book. There’s fighting and sparring and kidnapping and lots and lots of arrogance, which comes with the pirate territory. It’s like Pirates of the Caribbean, but with a girl pirate and in book form. So it’s awesome.

Continue reading “Daughter of the Pirate King”

Throne of Glass

Author  Sarah J. Maas
Series  Throne of Glass
Date Released  2 August 2012
Rating ★★★★☆

Falling back to another favorite – Throne of Glass by the amazing Sarah J. Maas. Many people, it seems, have read either A Court of Thorns and Roses or Throne of Glass, and in my opinion, both deserve to be thoroughly enjoyed. Side note: I’ll be posting every other day for now.

Quick intro: Celaena Sardothien, formerly the most well-known (but not seen) assassin in the empire of Adarlan, has spent the last year as a slave in the salt mines of Endovier, where most survive only months, as punishment for her crimes. The Captain of the Guard, Chaol Westfall, retrieves Celaena from the mines to be Prince Dorian’s champion in a bloody competition to become the King’s Champion (the fighter that does the dirty work for the kingdom’s leader). While she spends time in the palace, under an assumed name (no one knows a teenage girl was the country’s most feared assassin), she investigates the origins of mutilated bodies found in the castle.

Celaena was born in Terrasen, but about a decade ago, the king of Adarlan invaded Terrasen, burned its legendary libraries, killed its royal family, and enslaved many of the common people. Celaena must fight for her freedom from Endovier but winning also means serving the king who broke her homeland.

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Carry On

Author  Rainbow Rowell
Date Released  6 October 2015
Rating ★★★★★

Another re-read! Haven’t had much time to search for any new books. Any suggestions?

Quick intro: **This story was inspired by another of Rowell’s books, Fangirl, in which the main character, Cath, writes an extremely popular fanfiction about Simon Snow and Baz Pitch, apparent archnemeses.** Simon Snow, orphan, is the most powerful mage/sorcerer dude in the world and arrives in the magical world just as a powerful evil being they call the Insidius Humdrum begins creating spots around the country where magic is absent. Simon goes to a magic boarding school during the school year and his roommate is suspected vampire Baz Grimm-Pitch, the son of the magical boarding school’s previous headmistress, who was killed in a vampire attack on the school when Baz was little and shows up as a ghost to Simon at some point in the book. Baz and Simon hate each other’s guts (Simon thinks Baz is trying to steal his girlfriend and thinks he’s a monster/vampire (vampires aren’t allowed at the school), Baz thinks Simon is an idiot (he kind of is)), but they have to work together to find out what’s going on with Baz’s mom and what’s up with the Insidius Humdrum. Simon really can’t control his magic, like, at all, so it just kind of explodes in huge powerful bursts sometimes. As Baz and Simon work together, they realize some things about their relationship.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story – but far, far more monsters.”

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The Realms of the Gods

Author  Tamora Pierce
Series  The Immortals
Date Released  1 January 1996
Rating ★★★★★

I reviewed Wild Magic, the first book in The Immortals, a few days ago. The Realms of the Gods is the THIRD book in the series, and the reasons I’m skipping Wolf-Speaker for now are a) I don’t own it because b) Realms is my favorite book in the series because Daine is so clueless sometimes that it’s hilarious.

Quick intro: Teenage Veralidaine, who has “wild magic” (she can talk to and heal animals), and her teacher, super-powerful mage Numair, are dragged into the Divine Realms by Daine’s parents (father = hunting god, mother = human turned healer goddess) in the middle of a battle against evil immortals fighting for the goddess of Chaos, which they are losing. After spending some time with Daine’s parents (she’d never met her dad before, and her mother had been killed (as a human) a few years ago), Daine and Numair travel across the Divine Realms, where all the plants and animals are gods, and all are involved in a war against Uusoae, the Queen of Chaos. They acquire some interesting little beastie friends that can spy on their enemies in the Mortal Realms. Daine & Numair go through some changes in their relationship (SPOILER: Daine is so oblivious that Numair has been in love with her for a while, but he’s 11 years older than her so he thought she might think he was weird or something). They get a ride out of the Divine Realms from some dragons because Daine’s been taking care of a baby dragon so they trust her a little bit, and they fight some battles against the evil immortal dudes. I won’t tell you how it ends, but there’s a fourth book…

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Song of the Lioness

Author  Tamora Pierce
Books in the Series
  1. Alanna: The First Adventure
  2. In the Hand of the Goddess
  3. The Woman Who Rides Like a Man
  4. Lioness Rampant
Date Released  1983-1988
Rating ★★★★★
This is another favorite of mine, just to start out my blog. My name is Alena, so, on my middle school library’s bookshelves, Alanna popped out. I picked it up, and the character on the front cover had red hair, like me, and she wanted to become a knight, which seemed pretty awesome and interesting to read. I never really put the series back down again, checking it out continually, over and over again, until I graduated middle school (and then I had younger sister check them out for me over the summer so I could enjoy the cover art for a few more months…see edition below). It was the first series I ever read that I was actually truly invested in and introduced me to Tamora Pierce’s work. I’ll be reviewing this series in one post because I read them all pretty much as one book.
Quick intro: At age eleven, Alanna of Trebond and her twin brother Thom are supposed to go learn to be a lady at a convent and a knight at the capital city (Corus), respectively, but neither has any interest in the path their distracted father has chosen for them, so they switch places (Alanna disguises herself as a boy to become a page and Thom goes to the convent, still as a boy, to learn to be a sorcerer).  Alanna struggles through her time as a page and then a squire, making friends with the prince of the realm, Prince Jonathan, and his comrades, as well as the King of Thieves of Corus, George Cooper. Alanna plans to reveal her true identity after she has earned her shield as a knight, but a few people close to her figure it out early (it’s fine. they like her). She becomes an extremely good swordsman and fighter and learns to control her strong magical Gift. Thom, her twin, becomes the youngest master sorcerer, like, ever. After she becomes a knight, she battles an evil sorcerer, who messes with her life and the lives of the people around her. She goes on adventures in the desert, teaches children how to fight and do magic, learns from a master of hand-to-hand fighting, fights her own heart as feelings develop (she never wanted  to fall in love, just become a hero), and makes a place for herself in a changing world (she causes most of the change herself), becoming a legend across the realms.

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Shatter Me

Author  Tahereh Mafi
Series  Shatter Me
Date Released  15 November 2011
Rating ★★★☆☆

So, I’ve been in a teensy little book slump recently for many reasons:
a) one used bookstore near me closed and another got a little burnt last year,
b) the Barnes and Noble near me is closing,
c) I just bought a cello so I’m broke, and
d) I’m finishing up my senior year and there’s been a lot of stuff going on.

However, I did find time to get this book (and the books after it) out from the library because this seemed too good to not read. And that assumption was accurate 🙂

Quick intro: Juliette was born with this power that means that anyone who touches her experiences extreme pain and maybe death, so her parents send her to an insane asylum and forget about her and she’s stuck in solitary confinement with only her journal to keep her company. There’s a war going on outside the asylum and Juliette gets pulled in when she’s given a roomie named Adam and he gets her in trouble. This guy named Warner, who is not in the asylum, is super fascinated by Juliette but she hates him. Anything else I say would just be a spoiler, but I will spoil some of this book when I review the second book, which will happen. Soon.

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Wild Magic

Author  Tamora Pierce
Series  The Immortals
Date Released  1 December 1992
Rating ★★★★☆

Another favorite author (I’ll throw in a few non-favorites eventually), Tamora Pierce! Okay, so this series was written before I was born, but that doesn’t make me love it any less. Tamora Pierce became one of my favorite authors back in 2011, and I just kind of read and re-read every single book in the Emelan and Tortall universes until I basically had them memorized. Sadly, the editions I was reading from my school’s library became my favorites, but they were really hard to find so I have about half of her books, but maybe not in those editions I loved.

ANYways…Quick intro: Veralidaine Sarrasri, or just Daine, only had her mother and grandfather and her animal friends to keep her company, until bandits attacked and only Daine and her horse survived. Daine has “wild magic” meaning she’s really good with animals. Like, superhero-level good. She gets a job with a horse lady who works with the queen of Tortall (who’s pretty cool herself) and nurses this hawk back to health and it turns out to not be a hawk, but this kinda weird mage dude named Numair who’s super powerful and wants to teach Daine some interesting magicky stuff. They all travel to Tortall and help with the military “irregular” trainees (the Queen’s Riders, let girls & boys join, hunt bandits). Of course, there’s a problem when all these immortal monster things start getting out of the Divine Realms where they had been trapped for a few centuries and they cause some trouble. Daine turns out to be a big help and makes a lot of new friends, human and animal alike.

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A Court of Mist and Fury

Author Sarah J. Maas
Series A Court of Thorns and Roses
Date Released 3 May 2016
Rating ★★★★★

After writing yesterday’s review of A Court of Thorns and Roses, I realized that Wednesday and Thursday, when I reread ACOTAR, which has a red, white, and black cover, I wore a red shirt and red shoes, and yesterday, when I reread A Court of Mist and Fury, which, as you can see, has a blue, white, and black cover, I wore a black and white shirt and blue rainboots. Honestly, completely accidentally 😏

Quick intro: Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, where she has trouble adjusting, leading to some relationship issues with High Lord #1, leading to some quality time with my favorite character, Rhysand, High Lord of the Night Court, as he rescues her from a new kind of prison, using the Fae bargain Feyre made during Amarantha’s Reign of Terror. Upon spending more time at the Night Court, Feyre makes friends, learns to enjoy life again, and finds out some interesting things about her new self. CAUTION: There are total Feysand feels events in this book (of course I ship it).

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A Court of Thorns and Roses

Author Sarah J. Maas
Series A Court of Thorns and Roses
Date Released 5 May 2015
Rating ★★★★☆

I’m back!

Currently, I’m re-reading A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (review on that to come), so I thought I’d review the first book in the series to start this off.

Quick intro: Feyre is a nineteen-year-old human, living on a small island, on the other side of a wall from the Fae world of Prythian, until she does some things that take her over the wall and into a war she hadn’t known existed. She falls in love (a little bit of a Beauty and the Beast thing) and gets herself into trouble and there’s a big curse and a super-evil-queen-type thing.

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FIRST POST

I’ve never been able to hold onto any sort of schedule for my thoughts or my reading, so we’ll see how this goes. I’ve decided to start a blog about books, because even though it’s highly likely no one will read this, at least my ideas are out there.

None of my friends have the same taste in books that I do (nor anywhere near the same appetite for new stories), so the interwebs are my new best bookie friend 🙂

I will read just about anything, I just don’t like when stories are predictable. Surprises are good. My favorite genres, though, are SciFi, Fantasy, YA. I especially like to read the Star Wars books (from before they made the new movies, so rendered uncanon. still slightly bitter, but I understand why they did what they did and I’m getting over it). Favorite authors include Tamora Pierce, Sarah J. Maas, and, just added recently, Tahereh Mafi.

I’m a little goofy sometimes and I tend to get very emotionally invested in characters. Books are my escape so I immerse myself in the characters’ lives. And then sad things happen and I die. But it’s totally worth it.

I like to listen to my now 18-hr, 55-min-long all-over-the-place Spotify playlist while brainstorming, reading, and generally avoiding homework, so feel free to, at any point, recommend songs along with books.

I’ll see y’all on the flip side of Friday! Book reviews to come (starting with some very familiar re-reads).

Hasta luego,
Alena 🙂